CPVC Piping Demanding Applications in the Chemical Industry

Editor: Gabriele Ilg

At yesterday morning’s Materials conference (Forum, Panorama 3), Peter Kilburn, plant manager, Lubrizol Advanced Materials Resins gave a short presentation on the use of chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) piping systems in the chemical industry, where he highlighted some of the experiences gained at his production plant in Delfzijl, the Netherlands. “We not only produce the CPVC, but are one of the biggest users,” he said.

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The corrosive nature of the process is seen in this titanium pump impeller (right).
The corrosive nature of the process is seen in this titanium pump impeller (right).
(Picture: Ondrey)

Over the years, CPVC has proved that it possesses the durability and corrosion-resistance necessary to endure harsh environments, and for the Lubrizol plant in the Netherlands, Corzan CPVC became the piping material of choice for numerous plant modifications and additions over the years. Aside from the material’s advantages regarding corrosion resistance, it is the material’s ease of fabrication and the speed at which modifications can be made that helped the plant to expand production over the years.

During the plant’s 18 years of operation, the production capacity has been increased by more than 200 %, and all of the capacity expansion was achieved without increasing capital equipment, said Kilburn. Rather, it involved “doing things a bit more intelligently,” he said. CPCV is lighter, far less expensive and much easier to make connections than corrosion-resistant alloys, explained Kilburn. As a result, it is possible to quickly fabricate a test system to reroute the process and see if a proposed process modification actually works before implementing the change. This would be a very slow and costly process if using metal alloys, he said.

How to Reduce Steam Consumption

For example, the Delfzijl plant achieved a 10 % reduction in steam use — normally you’re lucky if you can get a 1 % reduction, said Kilburn. This was made possible by the speed at which ideas could be tested using CPVC. “This is one of the things I like about this material,” he said.

“We’re here to promote the use of CPVC in Europe, where it is not as widely used as in North America or the Middle East," said Kilburn. “If you’ve never considered using it, you should at least take a look.”